THURSDAY EUROPA LEAGUE: The Ultra previews Thursday’s games between NANTES v JUVENTUS and MANCHESTER UNITED v BARCELONA both with a recommended BETDAQ bet.


5.45pm It’s crunch time in the Europa League on Thursday, and we have some cracking fixtures on BETDAQ Betting Exchange. We have four fixtures at 5-45pm and the other four at 8pm, and Nantes v Juventus is a great place to start. I’m sure all the headlines will be taken by Manchester United v Barcelona later, but we could see a massive upset here. Nantes had to work very hard but they managed to get a 1-1 draw away from home in the first leg, and now they must feel they have an excellent chance of getting through. Juventus were the better side in the first leg – they finished with an xG of over three times what they conceded, but with home advantage you would have expected more from them. Given the odds, the draw was probably the biggest upset of their first legs last week. They are odds on again to win in 90 minutes – they are currently trading 1.9 at the time of writing, more than double their odds last weekend. Nantes put in a woeful performance at the weekend in Ligue 1, losing 3-1 to Lens away from home but it’s fair to say they would have been focusing all their energy on this fixture. They only finished that game with an xG of 0.23 though, and went off at crazy high odds – I’d expect an improved performance here, but whether or not that is good enough to deal with Juventus is the big question.

Juventus grinded out a 2-0 win away from home at the weekend in Serie A, nothing impressive but they’ve been doing that all season. They have really had to work hard for their wins this season, and then they’ve had to deal with the 15 point deduction too. When you look at the Nantes performances in the Group stage, you have to fancy Juventus here. Even when Nantes beat Qarabag here they conceded an xG of over double what they created. They were comfortably beaten twice by Freiburg who are a good Bundesliga side, but they aren’t close to the Juventus level. There’s no getting away from the fact that Juventus were disappointing in the first leg, but this time around it’s a must win game and there’s no next leg to come – I feel they are worth backing at 1.9 – but at the same time I’m happy to give stakes limited because Juventus have had to grind out their wins this season rather than creating a host of chances. Three points feels the right stake.

The Ultra Says:
Three points win Juventus to beat Nantes at 1.9 with BETDAQ BETTING EXCHANGE.

You can view all markets here ->

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8pm The eyes of the footballing world turn to Manchester on Thursday night as Manchester United host Barcelona! It’s a shame this clash is in the Europa League, because these two footballing giants deserve to be in the Champions League but here we are. Barcelona couldn’t deal with Bayern Munich and Inter Milan in their Champions League Group. Both sides are much improved this season – Manchester United are back in the top four in the Premier League under ten Hag and Barcelona are eight points clear at the top of La Liga. Barcelona got accused of not taking the Europa League seriously last season with their attitude, but they will be bang up for this tie. Not many football fans would have expect United to get a result at Camp Nou last week, but United actually finished the game with a higher xG figure than Barcelona. They would have been delighted with the draw, but could have actually won the game. They put in another impressive performance at the weekend when beating Leicester 3-0, and it could have been more too. They started slowly but finished the game with an xG of 4.22 after controlling the second half. Barcelona beat Cadiz 2-0 without much fuss, as expected really given Cadiz are in the relegation battle in La Liga – both games just tee’d up a perfect clash here! They are both in superb form, and we’re sure to have a very entertaining game here.

United come into the game as favourites, they are currently trading 2.38 at the time of writing with Barcelona 3.3 and the draw is 3.5. I know United are playing with loads of confidence under ten Hag, but I feel the 2.38 is too short here. Yes, they finished with a higher xG figure than Barcelona last week but there really isn’t much between the sides here. Barcelona have been top class in La Liga this season – their average xG created is as high as 2.5 which is one of the best figures from the major leagues in Europe. Not only that they have been rock solid at the back – their average xG conceded is 0.9, but their actual goals conceded works out at only 0.3 per game in La Liga. Incredibly impressive. I fully respect this United side under ten Hag, but the 2.38 is much too short here. I expect Barcelona to make this game a lot closer than those odds suggest, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see them win too. From a value point of view, the United lay really stands out here – I feel it’s worth a rare Max Lay!

The Ultra Says:
Five points lay (liability) Manchester United to beat Barcelona at 2.38 with BETDAQ BETTING EXCHANGE.

You can view all markets here ->

THE STRIKER Sat: Premier League Preview
DAQMAN Thurs: Newmarket NAP
DAQSTATS Thurs: Newmarket NAP
2023 Ryder Cup preview
THE ULTRA Thurs: Serie A and La Liga Preview
THE ULTRA Fri: Bundesliga and La Liga Preview
PAT HEALY: Recapping a brilliant week in Listowel
WEEK AHEAD: It’s Ryder Cup week!
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